Unmistakably Nordic in flavor, Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her own original music, a North Sea siren blending sparkle and melancholy, creating a special niche of folk music.
Indie distributer CDbaby just recently chose my new album The Owls Are Not What They Seem as their editor’s pick, gave it 5 stars and wrote this lovely review!
[quote] In 2008, Sweden’s Sofia Talvik put out an impressive album — Jonestown — which wowed me with its lush orchestrations and catchy, melancholic 60’s-pop songs, tunes that wouldn’t have been out of place on any of Goldfrapp’s NON-disco albums. The following year, Talvik released an equally ambitious, subtly-searing album called Florida that was haunted by the ghosts of Dustbowl folk and countrified Southern Gothic. In 2011, the prolific indie-songstress put out 4 EPs that previewed remixed versions of songs that would end up on this year’s full length, The Owls Are Not What They Seem. The new record is a departure for sure — still catchy in its way, though the earworms have more room to sprawl— still lush, though the flute and string accompaniments are more restrained and the tremolo guitars serve only as punctuation. What’s different this time around? Mood: Owls is a slow-burning folk pop gem that wanders and searches as if dreaming itself into being. Think Nick Drake, Kings of Convenience, and Blue-era Joni Mitchell. Talvik’s voice can be both rich and whispery, and each breath seems to bend toward some hidden sadness, as if tugged by an undercurrent we can’t quite see; but we feel its force as the music unfolds, swirls, and closes around us.[/quote]
I’m so happy to announce that we met our goal in the pledge and thanks to all of you who pledged we will be able to release the last part of L.O.V.E next week. If you haven’t pledged you can still pre-order the physical CD, T-shirts and other goods up till November 1st. After that the EP will only be available as a digital download.
For this update I thought we’d grill the producer a little bit, so I tied him to his amplifier and made him answer all these questions…
Marcus Högquist, you are the producer of “E – Part Four of L.O.V.E” and you are also the guitarist in Sofia’s band since many years, how do you think this recording was different than the others you’ve made with Sofia? More guitars 🙂 The previous recordings I´ve done with Sofia have all been different from each other. For example, the first one we recorded almost completely live with just two microphones. All of us sitting in the same room and playing together. And for that one we used mostly acoustic instruments. For the following records we have been doing more and more overdubs, recorded separetly and used more electronic sounds. This time I’ve tried to capture the essence of Sofia’s songs and let them guide me toward where I was going. Maybe in some cases I’ve put them in a slightly new context, soundwise.
What’s your favorite song on the EP and why? I like them all. But if I have to pick just one I’d say If I had a man. I’m really pleased with how it came out.
If you would describe this EP as the love child of two bands/artists, which would that be? John McEnroe and Mats Wilander 😉
If you would have had an unlimited budget, is there anything you would have done differently? I think I would have recorded the songs live with the band in a big fancy studio somewhere in the countryside. We would stay there for a few days and be totally focused on making the best record ever. For relaxation between the sessions some of us would play some tennis, Christian would go fishing in the lake just outside the studio and Sofia would probably get a nice massage.
How come you chose “Lower Case Letters” as your re-make song? Actually the new rhythm feel of that song came out of a mistake during a rehearsal that Sofia and I where doing for a promotion tour a few years ago. So for the following tour we decided to stick with that new rhythm arrangement and we did on our last US tour with the band as well. Then, when I was asked to pick an old song for this recording I just thougt it would be nice to record it that way.
What was your biggest challenge as a producer? Because I recorded a lot of the stuff myself, I’d say being the the producer and the musician at the same time.
Exactly how many guitar tracks can we expect on “E – Part Four of L.O.V.E” ? 😉 Billions!!!
What’s your best words of wisdom when producing an album? Keep an open mind. It might be good to have a plan for how you want the songs to sound. But be open for new ideas during the process and let them inspire you.
Thanks Marcus! We look forward to hearing your awesome creation!
“E – Part Four of L.O.V.E” is being released November 1st.
Here’s a video from the studio when we recorded the vocals for “7 Miles Wide” Marcus has recorded a bunch of guitars and Joakim Lundgren has added drums as well. You’ll also get to hear an exclusive preview of the finished version of the song at the end of the video featuring Pontus Borg on vocals.
Thanks for helping out to fund this last EP in the L.O.V.E saga. Go here to help us finish the EP so we can release it on November 1st as planned.
I met up with G.A.I.N who have recorded the second part of the H.A.T.E saga, ‘A – Part Two of H.A.T.E’. Here’s their thoughts about the project.
Hi G.A.I.N! You guys are doing “A – part two of H.A.T.E” how is the EP coming along? It’s coming along very well. It’s all done and waiting to be released. Niklas Stålvind of Wolf produced and mixed. Mike Wead of King Diamond and bibelblack mastered. From the final result we can definitely say that it sounds kick-ass! We’re very proud of what we’ve done and we can’t wait until we can share the result with the world!
Great! Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? We’re just a couple of metalheads doing what we love. We all come from different places but our love for Metal brought us together. We all live in Stockholm and we like to go out and have a good old dirty time. It happens a little too often but that’s Metal for you! We live by the motto, Sex, Booze and Tattoos!
What did you think of the original songs when you first heard them and did you think it was hard to interpret them into your own style or did you get ideas straight away? When we first heard the songs we wondered what the hell we’d gotten or self’s in to. It was a little hard to “connect” with the songs at first but after a few listening’s they grew on us and now we like them. We decided early not to listen to the originals that much too ensure that our versions came more from us, so that they would sound like G.A.I.N. Some songs we had ideas for right after the first listen but some came harder. The song that came easiest was probably “King of the Willow Tree” and one that we had to work a bit on was “Glow”.
Which of the songs are you most pleased with and why? Our favorites are probably King of the Willow Tree and The War. We really like the raw drive of the riffs in both songs. They are really in our own style and don’t sound like covers at all. Your way of writing really fitted well into our kind of music. They came out just like our own songs.
What’s your favorite gig memory? Three of us remember on gig in particular. Mr Bandiit was a little too excited and played a bit fast. This resulted in that Gus had to prioritize ether singing or breathing in the last song. He chose to sing… He gave his last bit of energy in that song and as a result of that he ended up taking an ambulance ride to the hospital.
Can you tell us a little bit about the recording sessions and what was most fun with being a part of this project? We recorded everything in Viper Studios. From this experience we learned that we will never record four songs in two days again. It’s borderline impossible and we don’t recommend it. We finished all the rhythm guitars and the drums in one day and thought we were doing very well. Only lead guitar, bass and vocals left right? The lead guitar and the bass were done at about 8 o’clock the next night. The vocals took another 7-8 hours and would have taken longer if it weren’t for the excellent vocal coaching Niklas Stålvind of Wolf provided. We’re forever grateful for that. But on the whole it has been a lot of fun to be part of this project. We’ve learned a lot and would like to thank you for this opurtunity.
What’s next on the agenda for G.A.I.N this fall? Get out and play. The big damn show! This fall we will focus on getting out and bring our music to the masses. We haven’t played all summer so we’re really excited about getting out there again! We’ll just have to make sure that Gus gets to breath. Do you know where we can get a portable oxygen tank?
Thanks for hanging out! We look forward to hearing the songs.
O -part two of L.O.V.E is being released June 6th and we chained the producer to the wall for a while to get the truth out of him about the new EP…
Hi Joakim Lundgren, producer of “O – part two of L.O.V.E”! You’re the second producer in line to write a chapter in our book of L.O.V.E, how do you feel the progress has been so far? Good! We’re done with mixing and mastering and I hope that it will spread like wild fire and be much appreciated.
What was your main inspiration for the sound of this EP? I wanted to make a totally synthetic sound image around Sofias straight melodys and her clear voice, making an EP with almost no live elements but with big syntheseizers and plick plock drums …
… since that didnt happened at all, I wound up with the complete opposite. I still think the melodys are surrounded by big things in a good way, but Its all with guitars and piano instead of synths. The way the songs sounded to me, this was the natural way to record it.
What do you do when you’re not producing Sofia Talvik EPs? I play the drums, teach youngsters in music programs and drums and I recently found a very nice music studio to be in, since then I’ve been doing some producing and recording.
How do you feel that this EP will be different from Sofia’s previous albums? It’s Louder.
Which is your favorite of the four songs and why? ”King of the willow tree”. It’s a simple and beautiful melody with lyrics that reminds me of my sami-childhood on the great plains of Lappland.
If this would be a soundtrack to a movie, which movie would that be? ”For a few dollars more”
What is your favorite part of producing music? When your listen to a melody of something for the first time, you have so many directions, tempos and ways to begin doing things. I like the part when you just decide the way, based on guts instead of bad influences.
Tell us your favorite songs right now. ”Wichita Lineman” Tony Joe Whites version ”Gubben i lådan” Daniel Adams Ray
Thanks for the chat! We really look forward to hearing the result! Thank you!